The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1901)/Introduction


I feel certain that it is venturesome to attempt to bring a work of a Bohemian writer before the English-speaking public, now the largest public of readers in the world. Even the name of my country has been known to English readers only in connection with associations that are both incongruous and absurd.

It seems to me certain that the judgment that Bohemian critics have passed on Komensky's masterpiece, the "Labyrinth of the World," claiming it to be one of the world's great books, is not unfounded or based on patriotic predilections. That the book is so little known must be attributed to various causes. Almost at the time that the "Labyrinth" appeared, Komensky's Church, the "Unity," as it was called, of the Bohemian or "Moravian" brethren, was expelled from Bohemia, and it became impossible for a book, written by so eminent a member of that community, to find readers in those countries where the language in which it was written was almost exclusively known. That language itself declined completely after Bohemian independence had perished in 1620, at the battle of the White Mountain, near Prague. These obstacles continued for many years. Dr. von Criegern[1] tells us that in 1749 a list of "dangerous and forbidden books," published at Königgrätz, included the "Labyrinth." Even early in the nineteenth century an edition of the book was suppressed. I shall refer to these facts again later when mentioning the various editions of the "Labyrinth" and dealing with Komensky's religious views; yet it may be mentioned here already that the "Labyrinth" is singularly free from "odium theologicum." The Bohemians have always been devoted to the "Labyrinth." Its mysticism was very congenial to them, and the variety of picturesque incident that it contains appealed to an imaginative people. The book being prohibited, the few copies that escaped destruction passed from hand to hand secretly, and were safely hidden in the scattered cottages of the Bohemian peasants. The many Bohemian exiles who left their beloved country rather than forsake their creed often took the "Labyrinth" with them. With the "Bible of Kralice,"[2] it was almost their only worldly possession, according to the words of their song, quoted by me on the title-page of this book.

Komensky—or Comenius, as he has generally been called in England—never shared the fate of many Bohemian writers; that is to say, complete oblivion. He has been saved from it by the fact that some of his educational works, written in Latin, have always been known to teachers. Thus his "Janua Linguarum" was in use as a school-book for nearly two centuries. An Anglo-Latin version of it was published at Oxford as late as in 1800. Some of Komensky's other educational works, such as the "Orbispictus," also became widely known. On the other hand, his later philosophical, or, as he called them, "pansophic" works have obtained but limited recognition. The power of condensing his thoughts and concentrating his mind that Komensky possessed when he wrote the "Labyrinth" failed him later in life, though the pansophic works for a short time attracted some attention, particularly in England.

To those who are not either professed pedagogues or students for whom long-past theories on natural history and natural philosophy—such as we find in the pansophic works—have an historical interest, Komensky's most valuable work will always be the "Labyrinth of the World." It is a work of the author's youth, though by no means his first work; and he who later in his life became somewhat diffuse has here concentrated his ideas, and given in a few pages an almost perfect picture of the life and thought of Bohemia and Germany as they appeared to one living in the early years of the seventeenth century.

The "Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart"—to give the book its full name—belongs to that large class of writings that are founded on the world-old conceit that imagines the world as a city and man as a pilgrim, who beholds it and examines it. It is natural that this allegorical idea took very different shapes in the hands of different writers. Sometimes, as with Komensky, the world appears twofold—the evil, earthly world that is but mockery, and the "paradise of the heart" in which the soul finds solace, even before its union with God, "the centre of all." Oftener the latter ideal world only is delineated, as in countless works, from Plato downward. It is, I think, improbable that Komensky knew Plato's writings, but I feel certain that he knew the quaint work of the so-called Kebes,[3] entitled Πιναξ. There is no doubt that this now little known work influenced Komensky to some extent. I have now before me a copy of the edition of the book published at Leyden in 1640. It contains an engraving that could almost be imagined as being an illustration of Komensky's allegorical work. We see the gate of life, through which all must enter; the various streets in which men reside, according to their callings; and in the heights the dwellings of eternal bliss. More's "Utopia" and Campanella's "Civitas Solis" undoubtedly influenced Komensky when writing the "Labyrinth," and he mentions both More and Campanella by name in the book. On the other hand, there is no trace in it of the influence of "Verulamius," as Komensky always calls Bacon, though his later writings have evidence of a considerable study of the works of Bacon, whom he frequently mentions.[4] It may perhaps be conjectured that he only studied these works later, perhaps at Lissa.

The books, however, that influenced Komensky most when writing the "Labyrinth" were some of the works of John Valentine Andrea.[5] It is certain that Komensky studied the works of the Würtemberg divine during his stay at Brandeis; and it is obvious that some of these works, such as the "Fama Fraternitatis," "Roseæ Crucis," "Peregrini in Patria errores," "Civis Christianus," "Republicæ Christianopolitanæ Descriptio"—itself obviously an adaptation of Campanella's "Civitas Solis"—and others too numerous to mention, greatly influenced Komensky when writing the "Labyrinth." The passages culled from these and other works of Andrea that resemble passages in the "Labyrinth" have been very carefully collected by Dr. von Criegern in his "Comenius als Theolog." This valuable book is, unfortunately, tainted with the Teutonic mania that strives to deny all originality of thought to the Slavic race. The mere fact that these analogies are chosen from various different works of Andrea weakens Dr. von Criegern's argument. It is not my purpose to enter into this matter here. It is certain that the first chapter of the "Labyrinth" is little but a paraphrase of the opening part of Andrea's "Peregrinus," that the pilgrim's visit to the philosophers (chap. xi.) is largely founded on a passage of Andrea's "Mythologia Christiana," and that his visit to the Rosicrucians[6] is mainly copied from Andrea's writings concerning that community.[7] Yet this but slightly detracts from Komensky's originality of thought. It has already been noted that the conceit of a pilgrim travelling through the world, as well as the conception of an ideal city, are world-old ideas which belonged to Komensky, as rightly as to Andrea, whose "Republicæ Christianopoli Fanæ" is, as I have already noted, an adaptation of the "Civitas Solis." Even at a slight glance at Andrea's ponderous writings, it will be seen how Komensky has enriched and vivified those conceptions that he borrowed from him. Dr. von Criegern goes so far as to declare that even the pessimism of the "Labyrinth" is due to the influence of Andrea. "Andrea," he writes, "was entirely pessimistic in his views, and even in his appearance resembled Schopenhauer." A more profound study of the life of Komensky would have rendered it very clear that Komensky—at least, the Komensky of the "Labyrinth"—became embittered through the circumstances of the time, and certainly required no foreign influence to strengthen such feeling. That Komensky, when writing school-books, wisely refrained from expressing such views is, I think, very natural; nor is it to the point that books written many years after the "Labyrinth" certainly tend to what is called optimism.

It is certain that when writing the "Labyrinth" Komensky wrote as a pessimist. That term has in recent years been used so largely and so vaguely that it may perhaps be as well to mention the sense in which I employ it. I consider that man a pessimist who believes that if we sum up the emotions and sensations of life in this world, we will find that those that are painful are both stronger and more numerous than those that are pleasurable. If we assume this standpoint, a man is neither more nor less a pessimist whether he believes that the joys of a future life will make good the horrors of the present one, or whether he longs for the quiet of Nirwana, or patiently awaits the absorption of his individuality in the totality of the world-soul. To prove that Komensky was a pessimist, it is sufficient to read the "Labyrinth" without the last chapters (xxxvii. to liv.), to which the author gave the separate name of the "Paradise of the Heart." Komensky, though eschewing theological controversy, writes as a devout Christian, and, indeed, member of the Unity. To Komensky (as I wrote some time ago), "it seemed that happiness, unattainable here, can be found elsewhere." This is, I think, the keynote of the "Labyrinth."

I have hitherto only referred to works that are earlier in date than the "Labyrinth"; but of all allegorical tales, the one that bears most resemblance to the "Labyrinth" is the "Pilgrim’s Progress."[8] In both books a pilgrim passes through the evil world, with its great suffering and its many temptations. Evil guides lead astray both Komensky's and Bunyan's pilgrim, and both finally find perfect happiness and solace of their sorrows by means of God's grace. There are many minor resemblances—both books, for instance, contain a somewhat comic trial—that the reader will discover for himself. Yet there are great contrasts also between the two books, founded on the very different conditions of the writers. Bunyan knew only the tenets of his own community and the low life of his time. Komensky, on the other hand, had, at the time when he wrote the "Labyrinth," travelled widely, studied at schools and universities, inquired into the latest theological and philosophical theories of his time, conferred with many learned men, and by means of his acquaintance with Charles of Zerotin, acquired some knowledge also of the life of the great of the world.

Bohemian writers have sought analogies to the "Labyrinth" among yet later writers, and have compared Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister's Lehr-und Wanderjahre" to Komensky’s masterpiece. Such comparisons appear to me to be too far-fetched to require more than passing notice.

It may be well to give a brief outline of the "Labyrinth." The pilgrim, when arrived at that age "when the human mind begins to understand the difference between good and evil," starts on a voyage through the world to view it, and then "consider what group of men I should join, and with what matters occupy my life." The pilgrim is now joined by "Searchall" (called also "Impudence"), and afterwards by "Falsehood," evil guides that are servants of "Vanity, the queen of the world." By permission of "Fate, the lord regent of the queen," the pilgrim is allowed to enter the city of the world. He sees that it is "built in the shape of a circle," and is divided into countless streets, squares, houses, bigger and smaller buildings. The six principal streets are named according to the six principal professions, or "estates," as Komensky calls them, whose members dwell in them. They are the streets of the married people, the tradesmen, the scholars, the clergy, the magistrates and rulers, and lastly, the knights and warriors.

Bohemian writers have often remarked that these divisions appear somewhat arbitrary. It is, for instance, strange that matrimony should appear as an "estate" in distinction from other professions or callings. On the other hand, the reader is surprised that Komensky, writing in a country so largely agricultural as Bohemia, should not have mentioned the peasantry as one of the "estates." I venture a conjecture concerning this matter. The sympathy that Slavic writers—from Chelcicky to Count Tolstoy—have always expressed for the peasants, "the humble," is very evident in Komensky also. I need only refer to such passages in the "Labyrinth" as p. 306, when the writer refers to the cruel suffering that the Bohemian peasants underwent at the hands of the lords, and yet more of the overseers, whom the lords—often absentees—placed over them; and to the passage (p. 307) where the peasants receive the ironic answer to their complaints, "that if by willingness, compliance, and true attachment to their superiors and rulers, they could gain their favour, they should be allowed to enjoy it." As the main purpose of the earlier part of the "Labyrinth" is to prove that all professions are but vanity, and contain more evil than good, there was here no place for the peasants, who were humble by necessity, and had willingly or unwillingly to follow Komensky's precept, that it is better to obey than to rule.

After the pilgrim has passed twofold gates, he beholds the various estates of mankind in the order mentioned above. When dealing with matrimony, Komensky expresses very pessimistic views, largely, I think, to consistently maintain his theory that everything earthly is evil; for it may be mentioned here that Komensky, who became a widower in 1622, married again in 1624, and after losing his second wife, married again late in life.

The pilgrim now comes to the street of the tradesmen, and Komensky's descriptions here throw a great deal of light on the dangerous and laborious life then led by those who were employed in trade and the transport of merchandise. The waggoners underwent many hardships, and the fate of the sailors was yet worse. Very picturesque is the description of a sea voyage and subsequent shipwreck. It is founded on the author's experiences during his journey to England, and is therefore a later addition, which we first meet with in the edition of the "Labyrinth" published at Amsterdam in 1663. Komensky's comparison of the different parts of a waggon to the different parts of a ship is one of the many quaint conceits that render the "Labyrinth" so attractive.

The pilgrim then visits the scholars or learned men. His descriptions of school-life, written from his own experiences, are very distressing. Plagosus Orbilius had at that time many imitators in the Bohemian schools. The pilgrim then pursues his journey through the halls of higher learning, and his visit to the scholars is indeed described with far more detail than that to any of the other "streets." The pilgrim visits consecutively the philosophers—here Komensky gives a curious list of philosophers founded on Andrea—the grammarians, rhetoricians, and poets. The writer violently attacks the heathen poets of Greece and Rome, whom, indeed, in his capacity as a pedagogue, he afterwards wished to expel from the schools and replace by Christian writers. Fortunately, from the point of view of classical scholarship, this attempt failed. The pilgrim, or rather Komensky, then visits the dwellings of those who teach the various other branches of learning, delivering short, and sometimes sharp, criticisms on the scientific theories that were current in his day. Sometimes he deals, with veiled irony, of matters also that are now no longer considered subjects of scientific research, such as the quadrature of the circle, the philosopher's stone, astrology and alchemy. As regards alchemy,[9] we must, however, remember that it was considered by learned men a subject worthy of serious study, even many years after the "Labyrinth" was written.

The pilgrim next visits the street of the clergy. After referring briefly to the Jews and Mohammedans, Komensky devotes a long chapter (chap. xvii.) to the Christian creed. The comparative tolerance shown here to views different from those of the writer deserves notice, though it is always evident that his sympathy is with the "true Christians," as he terms the members of the Unity. Komensky's diatribe against unworthy priests and bishops, "who wear a coat of mail over a surplice, a helmet over a barat; who hold the Word of God in one hand, a sword in the other; who carry Peter's keys in front, and Judas's wallet behind; whose mind is educated by Scripture, though their heart is practised in fraud; whose tongue is full of piety, though their eyes are full of wantonness," will, at the present day, appear offensive to the members of no Christian community. Komensky's conception of Christianity, as a vast church that has many side-chapels for those who profess the various Christian doctrines, is one of the finest allegories in a book in which fine allegories are frequent.

The pilgrim's path next leads him among the magistrates and rulers. The trial of Simplicity before the judges is very quaint, and proves that Komensky was by no means devoid of humour. The names of some of the judges, such as Lovegold, Takegift, Loveself, remind the reader of Bunyan.

After the magistrates, the pilgrim visits the rulers. They have neither eyes nor ears nor tongue, and communicate with their subjects by means of tubes. Komensky thus describes satirically the difficulty which a humble man encounters when he endeavours to approach the rulers, who see, hear, and speak only through their courtiers and councillors.

The pilgrim is now conducted to the street of the soldiers and knights. Here the intense hatred of bloodshed and warfare, so characteristic of the brethren, is very evident. The battle-piece (chap. xx.) has rightly been admired as one of the most striking and eloquent things that Komensky ever wrote. Of the knights, Komensky writes somewhat briefly. His writings show that he shared the detestation of coats-of-arms, and all hereditary dignities, that was characteristic of his community, from Chelcicky[10] (indirectly its founder) downward. It is scarcely doubtful that Komensky dealt but superficially with this matter, to show well-deserved courtesy to Charles, lord of Zerotin, under whose protection he then resided at Brandeis, and to whom the "Labyrinth" is dedicated. Charles of Zerotin, a great statesman and a great Bohemian writer,[11] was indeed, as regards his fame, by no means dependent on the glory of his ancestors. Yet even a far-seeing and enlightened nobleman like Zerotin, to whom Komensky's short and severe account of knightly life was in no way applicable, would perhaps have resented sharper attacks on the knights and nobles of his country.

Having now found but vanity and vileness in the six principal streets of the city of the world, the pilgrim, still conducted by his guides, Searchall and Falsehood, proceeds in the direction of the Castle of Fortune. The guides tell him that those who have in their estates struggled successfully in the city here enjoy perfect comfort and all pleasures. A curious intermezzo occurs here; near the lower gate of the castle the pilgrim meets the "newsmen"—it would be an anachronism to call them journalists—they carry whistles, on which they pipe different and discordant notes, some cheerful, some melancholy.

To the castle, one principal gate, that of virtue, leads; but it is difficult of access, and little frequented. There are also several side-entrances, which have various names such as Hypocrisy, Injustice, Violence, and so forth. Even those who have passed through the outward barriers are not all allowed to ascend to the castle itself. This depends on the caprice of Fortune, who lifts upward on her wheel those who find favour with her. The castle itself has three floors, in which the rich, the voluptuous, and the famous men dwell. The pilgrim first visits the rich, whom he finds hugging their chains, which they believe to be golden. He then ascends to the banquet hall of the revellers. Komensky here gives an incident of a truly comic character. The pilgrim is at first horrified by the behaviour of the banqueters, whom he leaves after having severely rebuked them. He is, however, induced by his guides to return, and joins in the revels—but too freely! He then arrives at the dwelling-places of the famous men, who have achieved immortality; but he is disappointed here also, for among those whose fame will endure for ever he finds Herostratus.

The pilgrim, finding the labours and the joys of the world equally vain and distasteful, now begins to despair; but his guides comfort him by telling him that they will lead him to the palace of the Queen of Wisdom—which is really that of worldly wisdom or vanity. He finds the queen surrounded by numerous councillors and guards, who bear fantastic allegorical names. His guides then accuse him before the queen of being "anxious, disgusted with all things, and desirous of something unusual."

The queen none the less receives the pilgrim graciously, and invites him to remain in her palace, where he hopes henceforth to live in peace. Meanwhile, Solomon, accompanied by a large following, consisting of philosophers and scholars of all countries, arrives at the queen's court, and claims her in marriage. The queen answers through "Prudence, her councillor," that "Wisdom was the spouse of God alone, and could wed no other." Solomon, however, remains at her court, and in his presence and that of his followers the queen receives numerous deputations of nobles, scholars, jurisconsults, labourers, and others. These petitions, and the replies given to them—like the pilgrim's visits to the streets of the world, and afterwards to the dwellers in the Castle of Fortune—throw a strong and clear light on many circumstances connected with the social and political life of Bohemia and Germany in the early years of the seventeenth century. They have, therefore, considerable value for those who study this period.

On the other hand, it must be admitted that many of the grievances and complaints contained in these passages of the "Labyrinth" are world-old, belong to all times, and will, no doubt, endure for ever. Men will always enlarge on the hardships of those who seek fortune, the pedantry and credulity of scholars, the "odium theologicum" so great among those who teach the doctrine of peace and goodwill, the brutality of the soldiery, the injustice of judges, "the law's delay, the insolence of office."

But to return to the pilgrim. He had been listening to the speeches of the deputations, with the other members of the queen's Court, when the audiences are suddenly interrupted. Incensed by the deceitful decrees of the queen, Solomon exclaims with a loud voice: "Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity!" He then tears the mask from the face of the queen, and she, who had previously seemed beautiful, now appears as a hideous hag. Solomon and his followers leave the queen's palace, and hurrying to the city of the world, they loudly proclaim the vanity of all earthly things. The queen is at first terrified by Solomon's invective, but soon recovers her senses, and assembles all her councillors, asking them to advise her how she can best expel Solomon from her dominions. Some advise the arming of all the queen's forces, but others suggest that the queen should employ craft rather than violence; at least, at first. The latter counsel prevails. Three of the queen's companions, Flattery, Affability, and Pleasure, follow Solomon into the city of the world, and entice him into the street of the married people. His follies there are described in a manner that very closely follows the Biblical account. The queen now decides to attack Solomon, who has been deserted by many of his followers. A fearful massacre ensues, and the terrified pilgrim exclaims: "O God, if Thou art a God, have mercy on wretched me!" and he then swoons.

We have now reached the second part of the "Labyrinth," to which Komensky has given the name of the "Paradise of the Heart." Henceforth everything is changed; all sordid, and sometimes coarse, allusions to worldly matters vanish, and we find ourselves in an atmosphere of purest mysticism. Christ appears to the pilgrim and welcomes him home—that is to say, as one who, from his earthly wandering, has returned to the solitude of his heart. He then receives Christ as a guest in his humble dwelling, and they are mystically betrothed. Christ informs the pilgrim that he is one of those whom He has chosen, and gives him instructions as to his behaviour during the time that he will yet remain upon earth. These instructions are, of course, entirely in accordance with the teaching of the Bohemian brethren, the community to which Komensky belonged.

Though yet remaining on earth, the pilgrim now beholds the splendour of heaven in a vision, and sees God on a throne of jasper, surrounded by the hosts of the angels. The influence of the Apocalypse is here very evident. Komensky, as all the "brethren" of his time, was an indefatigable student of Scripture. The "Bible of Kralice," to which I have already referred, was always in their hands, and the "Labyrinth" shows many traces of its study. Komensky's vision of heaven is very striking, and I do not hesitate to say that it has sometimes reminded me of Dante's "Paradise."

After the vision has disappeared, the pilgrim falls on his knees and addresses to God a prayer, breathing that passionate and disinterested love of the divinity that is so characteristic of the mystics. With this chapter the book ends. But in this chapter, as in several others, such as that which deals with the pilgrim's mystical betrothal with Christ, we are carried upward to the highest summits of mystic thought. Had the book been written in a language better known than that of Bohemia, it would, I think, have ranked high among the works belonging to that school of thought. It would be interesting to examine to what extent Komensky was influenced by the writings of the German mystics, but limited space renders this impossible.

Though the "Labyrinth" is, to a certain extent, a philosophical work, and, to a certain extent, also a book of adventure, yet it must be considered as mainly a theological work. It could not be otherwise as regards a book written by Komensky, who called himself "hominem vocatione theologum," and who, in all his writings, even on other subjects, referred constantly to theological matters. Thus, in his "pansophic works," philosophy is still the handmaiden of theology, an idea that even in his days was already becoming obsolete.

If we consider at what time and under what circumstances the "Labyrinth" was written, we shall be surprised to find how little religious controversy and "odium theologicum" it contains. If we except a brief allusion[12] to the cruelty with which the Church of Rome enforced its doctrine, there is in the book no attack even on that Church that was then cruelly persecuting the brethren. The more enlightened Catholics have not failed to recognise this. The learned Bohemian Jesuit Balbinus,[13] wrote in his "Bohemia Docta": "Komensky wrote very many works, but none that were aimed at the Catholic Church. When reading his works, it has always appeared to me that he wrote with great prudence, as if he did not wish to show preference to any religious doctrine, nor condemn any." In the present century also the historian, Dr. Gindely, a writer of pronounced Catholic views, has declared that some of the works of Komensky are as those of a saint. That in spite of these enlightened judgments, both temporal and ecclesiastical authorities have several times attempted to suppress the "Labyrinth" has already been mentioned. The teaching of Komensky is that of the "Unity," which insisted mainly on a holy life, and advised the brethren to live secluded lives; to eschew as far as possible worldly honours; to obey, rather than to command; in short, to conform as closely as they could to the ways of the first disciples and followers of Christ. Leaving all doctrinal considerations aside, it cannot be denied that this was a lofty ideal.

On controversial matters, Komensky, in the "Labyrinth," is significantly silent. As Dr. von Criegern writes, even the questions of free will and predestination that divided the Lutherans and Calvinists, to which communities the brethren were closely related, though they belonged to neither, Komensky devoted little attention. There are, however, several passages in the last chapters of the "Labyrinth" (the "Paradise of the Heart") that afford some evidence in favour of the author's belief in predestination. I have already referred to the mysticism of the "Labyrinth." The mystic conception of light is very prominent in the book, and is occasionally rather puzzling to the reader, as the word appears sometimes in its ordinary, sometimes in its allegorical, signification. The conception of Christ as "the centre of all things" is also common to many mystics, as is the great stress laid on various odours, as the reader will find in many passages of the "Labyrinth." M. Nordau would, no doubt, on the strength of this peculiarity, enrol Komensky among the "Entartete"; it is, however, true that mysticism itself is degeneracy, according to M. Nordau.

I have already written much on Komensky's life,[14] but I think the readers of the "Labyrinth" will wish to find here a short account of the long and eventful life of its author. I shall do this as briefly as possible, except when dealing with Komensky's stay at Brandeis, where he wrote the "Labyrinth."

John Amos Komensky[15] was born in 1592 at Uherský Brod,[16] a small town in Moravia. He lost his parents when quite young, and received his earliest education at Uherský Brod, at the school that the brethren had established there. His family had long belonged to that community. Komensky's experiences at school were very painful. The almost inconceivable brutality of the teachers of that day, who looked down on corporal punishment not merely as a penalty for offences, but as a measure that was likely to stimulate the minds of the young to intellectual efforts, deeply impressed the high-strung nature of young Komensky. He has alluded to his school-days in the "Labyrinth" (chap. x.), and there is little doubt that the recollection of his early experiences influenced him when he endeavoured later in life to amend the educational system. After leaving Uherský Brod, Komensky spent some time at the school of the Unity at Prerov (Prerau), also in Moravia, and then proceeded to the Calvinist University at Herborn, in Nassau. That university, founded in the sixteenth century by Henry, Count of Nassau, was then one of the strongholds of the Calvinist creed. The brethren often sent their promising pupils who were to become clergymen to that university, rather to the then utrafuist[17] University of Prague. It is certain that Komensky's views, particularly early in life, show traces of his Calvinistic training. From Herborn, Komensky proceeded to Heidelberg, then the residence of Frederick of the Palatinate, destined shortly afterwards to become the "winterking" of Bohemia. Though we have little positive information on the matter, he seems to have travelled extensively at this period, to have visited the Netherlands and Amsterdam, which was to be the refuge of his last years.

Komensky returned to his own country in 1614, and was appointed a minister of his Church in 1616, with residence in the small town of Fulneck, in Moravia. He married there, and spent a few peaceful years, the happiest of his long life.

But even a pious preacher and teacher could not long remain untouched by the vicissitudes of the Thirty Years' War, and the unspeakable horrors that befell Bohemia and Moravia after the battle of the White Mountain in 1620. In the following year, Spanish troops, that came as allies of Ferdinand II., German Emperor and Archduke of Austria, attacked the small town of Fulneck. The town was captured without resistance. Here, as almost everywhere at that time, the inhabitants immediately submitted to the victorious Romanists. Komensky's house was pillaged and burnt down, and—to him almost a greater loss—his library and MSS. also perished in the flames. Komensky fled to Bohemia with his wife and children, and sought refuge with Charles, Lord of Zerotin, at Brandeis on the Orlice.[18] I have already mentioned the name of Charles of Zerotin. During the war that had just ended he had, though a fervent Bohemian patriot and member of the Unity, not espoused the cause of Frederick of the Palatinate, but had remained faithful to the House of Habsburg. It was therefore natural that the victors showed him a certain amount of consideration. His vast estates were not confiscated by the Austrian Government, and he was allowed to remain in the dominions of the House of Habsburg. He was even tacitly, though by no means officially, granted yet further privileges; he was allowed to afford at least temporary shelter to some of the clergymen of his Church, whom one of the first decrees of the victors had expelled from Bohemia.

Komensky, as I have already mentioned, was one of those who availed themselves of the hospitality of Zerotin. As far as the rather uncertain accounts inform us, he did not live in the town of Brandeis, but in a cottage on the opposite bank of the Orlice, at the foot of the hill still called "Klopota." This is confirmed by the fact that Komensky has thus signed his Latin dedication of the "Labyrinth" to his patron: "Dabam sub Klopot Idibus, Dec. 1623." According to very old traditions, the wooden cottage or hut (the Bohemian "chalupa") in which he lived was of very ancient origin, having been built with his own hands by Brother Gregory,[19] one of the founders of the Unity.

Brandeis, on the Orlice, which will always be memorable to all Bohemians as the spot where Komensky wrote the "Labyrinth," was then already holy ground for a member of the Unity. It had been one of the earliest settlements of the brethren, and for a long time the dwelling-place of Brother Gregory, who had first organised the community. Here, too, Brother Gregory had died (in 1474), and had been buried, "like the prophets of the Old Testament, in a rock-grave near the bank of the Orlice—that is to say, opposite the castle."[20] The owners of Brandeis—the lords of Postupic, and afterwards the lords of Zerotin—had always been well disposed towards the Bohemian brethren; the Zerotins, indeed, belonged to the Unity. It was, therefore, natural that Brandeis should have been frequently chosen as meeting-place for the synods of the community of which it had become the centre.

When Komensky arrived at Brandeis, about the end of the year 1622, he was overwhelmed with misery to a degree, that only his true Christian faith and his thorough reliance on the doctrine of his community enabled him to overcome. As already mentioned, all his worldly possessions—including his beloved books and MSS.—had perished. Perished also had all prospects of a successful career as a clergyman and pedagogue, at least in his beloved native country, for Komensky well knew that of all "acatholics,"[21] the members of the Unity would be the first to be expelled from Bohemia. During the lengthy and dangerous journey from Fulneck to Brandeis, undertaken at a time of pestilence and in the midst of the horrors of the Thirty Years' War, Komensky lost his wife and one of his children; the other died shortly after his arrival at Brandeis. It was not, therefore, as one influenced by temporary irritation or disappointment, but as one who "bears the whole heaviness of the wronged world's weight," that Komensky wrote the "Labyrinth."

Believers in Taine's theory of "milieu" will certainly be strengthened in their belief if they visit Brandeis after reading the "Labyrinth." The little town nestles at the banks of the rapid, grey, dolorous Orlice. The narrow valley in which the town is situated is encircled, and, as it were, weighed down by never-ending pine-forests that rise abruptly in all directions, but particularly in that of the Klopota Hill, under which Komensky's hut stood. This spot, memorable as being the one where he conceived the "Labyrinth," is now marked by a small monument erected to him by his grateful countrymen. Straight before him, separated only by the Orlice, stood the city of Brandeis, with its wide market-place, to which all the small streets converged. Immediately behind the town stood, as a "Castle of Fortune," the ancient castle of the Zerotins, then already a ruin. Situated on a steep and abrupt rock, it so entirely overlooks the town that the traveller can see directly beneath him the market-place "crowded with people as with insects." This is particularly the case during the summer months, for Brandeis has now become a fashionable summer resort of the citizens of Prague.

It is, of course, as a mere conjecture that I venture to suggest that Komensky had the city of Brandeis and the neighbouring scenery in his mind when he wrote the "Labyrinth." Such conjectures have not, perhaps, great value, even when made by one who has been a constant wanderer in the district referred to. Similar attempts to connect great writings with the scenery that surrounded their author while he wrote them have often been made; and it is certain that a man of genius—such as Komensky undoubtedly was—would be more strongly impressed and influenced by the scenery around him than an ordinary man.

Meanwhile, Komensky's stay in his beloved Bohemia was drawing to an end. The condition of the brethren at Brandeis was at first a fairly tolerable one. The Austrian Government, grateful to Zerotin for his fidelity to the house of Habsburg, did not at first molest his protégés much. But the position of non-Catholics became more precarious in the Habsburg dominions every year. Every year the regulations against them became more severe. Komensky, like many of the brethren, lived in secrecy, and only occasionally returned to Brandeis. At last the brethren, among whom was Komensky, decided, at a secret meeting in the village of Doubravic, that they would altogether abandon Bohemia, and settle in Poland and Hungary. It was also agreed to that certain members of the community should precede the general emigration, and seek in these countries places of refuge where the brethren could continue to worship freely according to their doctrine. Komensky was chosen as one of these envoys, and now travelled extensively in Northern Germany and Poland. It was decided that Komensky and other brethren should seek refuge at Lesno or Lissa,[22] in Poland, under the protection of Count Lescynski, who was himself a member of their community. It was during these travels that Komensky first became acquainted with the so-called "prophecies" of Kotter and Eliza Ponatovska; together with the later "prophecies" of Drabik, they had a great influence on Komensky in his later years. There is, however, little trace of their influence in the "Labyrinth,"[23] so that it is unnecessary to refer to them here.[24]

In January, 1628, Komensky, accompanied by several other exiles, left Bohemia—that he was never destined to revisit. When the exiles arrived at the Silesian frontier, "they all knelt down and prayed to God, with cries and many tears, entreating Him not finally to avert His mercy from their beloved country, nor to allow the seed of His word to perish within it."[25]

On the 8th of February, Komensky arrived at Lissa. He spent there a considerable number of years conscientiously fulfilling his duties, both as preacher and schoolmaster of the small Bohemian community that had settled there. It was at this time that he wrote many of his educational works that, to a certain extent, preserved his fame, even when he was least known. Thus a large part of the "Didactica Magna" was written at Lissa. Here, also, Komensky began his pansophic studies at this time, and his first philosophical (or pansophic) book appeared in 1632. Though written during the troublous times of the Thirty Years' War, Komensky's pansophic studies attracted great attention. Indeed, the horrors of that war may have inclined the minds of men to that mysticism that promised them a delightful future, contrasting with the wretched present. It is always in times of great misery that mystic, particularly chiliastic, ideas, such as Komensky professed in the last years of his life, appeal most to the minds of men.

The interest in Komensky's pansophic studies was not limited to Poland, Bohemia, and Germany. His fame spread also to far more distant countries' particularly to England, that did not interfere in the thirty years' struggle on the Continent, but that was then on the verge of civil war. Samuel Hartlib, well known as a friend of Milton, was greatly interested in the studies of the Bohemian pansophist. A correspondence began between Hartlib and Komensky, to whom Hartlib offered financial aid to enable him to visit England. After some hesitation, Komensky accepted this offer. His temporary hope of returning to Bohemia—founded on the brilliant victories of Gustavus Adolphus—had proved vain. Count Lescynski, his old patron, had died, and shortly afterwards his son had, for political reasons, adopted the creed of Rome. Other causes contributed to render Komensky less desirous of remaining at Lissa. He had not, in his later writings, always shown that generous, large-minded, truly Christian tolerance that is so conspicuous in the "Labyrinth," and was already becoming involved in those theological controversies that afterwards embittered his last years. Discord appears to have arisen between him and other clergymen of the community of Lissa, though the fact that he was chosen as the head of that community seven years later proves that he had by no means lost its sympathy.

In the summer of 1641, Komensky left Lissa on his way to England. He arrived in London on September 21, after a very perilous sea voyage, of which he has left us a description in the "Labyrinth."[26] I have elsewhere referred to Komensky's stay in London, and to the very interesting letter dealing mainly with English affairs that he sent to his friends on the Continent. He seems to have been acquainted with many men of importance in England. Besides Hartlib, on whose invitation he had come there, Theodore Haak, John Durie, John Beale, Evelyn were among those whom Komensky met in London. It is less certain that he made the personal acquaintance of Milton and of Lord Herbert of Cherbury.[27] It is not my intention to refer here in more detail to the Bohemian philosopher's stay in London, where he and his friends wished to found a pansophic academy. Public events in England rendered such an undertaking an impossibility.

Komensky therefore decided to leave London, and started, in June, 1642, only a few weeks before civil war broke out in England. Through Holland and Germany, he proceeded to Sweden. He had been invited to that country by the Chancellor Oxenstierna, who had heard of his fame as an educator from Louis de Geer, a rich Dutch merchant, who had business connection with Sweden. Oxenstierna wished Komensky to undertake the task of writing a series of school-books for use in the Swedish schools. Komensky consented to do so, but refused to take up his residence in Sweden. He settled for some time (1642-1648) at Elbing, a small—now Prussian—town on the Baltic, not very distant from the Swedish coast. Conscientious as he always was, he worked hard there at the school-books he had undertaken to write, while he also laboured hard at his pansophic works, encouraged by his English friends, who urged him not to devote all his time to "mere school-books."

Komensky's stay at Elbing ended in 1648. In that year Justinus, bishop of the Unity, died at Lissa, and Komensky was chosen as his successor. He did not hesitate to accept that dignity, a heavy burden at a moment when the Treaty of Westphalia had destroyed the last hopes of the brethren, and the community seemed doomed to extinction. He started in the same year for Lissa, to assume the duties of his new office.

But here also he did not now remain long. He was summoned to Transylvania by George Rakoczy, who was then ruler of that country, and of a considerable part of Hungary. Rakoczy, a Calvinist, was naturally anxious to obtain the services of one whose creed was very similar to his own, and who already was far famed as an educator. Komensky stayed some time at Potok,[28] where the princes of the house of Rakoczy often resided. In consequence of the favour that he enjoyed with these princes, he was able to carry out his educational innovations here on a much larger scale than before. His labours at Potok have therefore great value for those interested in pedagogy,[29] but it is unnecessary to refer to them here.

In 1654, Komensky returned for the last time to Lissa, but only for a brief period. He was destined soon to become a wanderer again. War broke out in 1655 between Poland and Sweden, and the Bohemian exiles, though they had been well treated by the Poles, sympathised largely with the Swedes, whose Protestantism was somewhat similar to their own. Komensky, far too great an enthusiast to be a cautious man, shared this feeling, and gave utterance to it in his "Panegyricus Carolo Gustavo magno Suecorum regi." The Swedes were at first victorious, overran a large part of Poland, and captured the town of Lissa. In 1656, however, the Poles recaptured the town and completely destroyed it, partly, as Komensky's enemies alleged, because of his panegyric on the King of Sweden. Komensky's library and MSS. were for a second time destroyed. He, now already sixty-five years old, found himself again a homeless wanderer. After staying some time at Stettin, Hamburg, and other places, he at last found a refuge at Amsterdam. Lawrence de Geer, the son of his old patron, Louis de Geer, invited him to reside there. It was there that Komensky spent the last years of his troubled life. His chiliastic views, and his firm belief in so-called "prophets," involved him in much theological controversy, carried on with the discourtesy, and indeed brutality, customary among the theologians of his time. Many false or exaggerated accusations against Komensky, gathered from the controversial writings of his opponents, were afterwards repeated by Bayle in his "Dictionnaire Historique et Critique," and Komensky was long principally judged according to Bayle's one-sided account. The greater interest now shown in Komensky's educational work, and, on the other hand, the revival of Bohemian literature, which has made a book such as the "Labyrinth" better known, have caused the great Bohemian writer to be now judged more fairly.

Komensky's last years were very melancholy; his old friends and comrades, Gertych, Figulus (his son-in-law), and other clergymen of the Unity, died, and he became more and more solitary. He doubtlessly believed that the community to which he had devoted his whole life would perish from the earth. This was not, however, to be the case; Komensky's grandson, Figulus, or Jablonsky, as he generally called himself, consecrated as a clergyman of the Unity Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the community of Herrenhut, that has continued to the present day, and which in its principal doctrines is identical with the old community,[30] occupied to the last with pansophic studies. Komensky died at Amsterdam on November 15, 1670. An exile even in death, he was buried on November 22 in the Church of the French Protestants at Naarden, near Amsterdam.

After what has necessarily been a very slight sketch of Komensky's career, I return to the "Labyrinth." Not to give too terrifying an aspect to the title-page of this book, I have given on it only the first principal part of the name that Komensky chose for his work. It may, however, be interesting to give here the full name, which, according to the fashion of the day, is very lengthy. Komensky thus describes his book: "The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise[31] of the Heart; that is, a book that clearly shows that this world and all matters concerning it are nothing but confusion and giddiness, pain and toil, deceit and falsehood, misery and anxiety, and lastly, disgust of all things and despair; but he who remains in his own dwelling within his heart, opening it to the Lord God alone, will obtain true and full peace of mind and joy."

Following the example of all former editors of Komensky's masterpiece, I have made no external distinction between the "Labyrinth of the World" and the "Paradise of the Heart." Komensky himself made no such distinction, and here also the chapters are numbered continuously, as they are in the Amsterdam edition of 1663. It has often been stated that the "Paradise," which is much shorter than the "Labyrinth," is also inferior to it. It is certain that while a large, and perhaps the most interesting part of the "Labyrinth," describes the customs and manner of life of the six "estates" into which Komensky divides mankind, the lives of the same classes of men are described, but in a few words after they have become "true Christians," a term which, to Komensky, always meant a member of the Unity. Yet such criticism is founded on an inadequate conception of Komensky's purpose when he wrote the "Labyrinth." It was not his intention to extol earthly life, even that of the most God-fearing pietist, but to enlarge on the vileness of the world, and to contrast with it the perfect happiness of those who in heaven are united with God.

Though Komensky's works, and the "Labyrinth"—his masterpiece—in particular, have been the object of much interest since the revival of Bohemian literature, yet a critical study of the "Labyrinth," dealing fully with all philological, historical, artistic, and other questions connected with it, is still a desideratum. It is not, therefore, yet quite certain what chapters of the "Labyrinth" formed part of the book as first written, and what are later editions. Dr. Flajshans, in his excellent "Pisemnictvi Ceske," (i.e. Bohemian Literature) suggests that chapters xxix. to xxxv. did not form part of the book as written at Brandeis, though they already appear in the first printed edition of 1631. The description of a shipwreck in chapter viii., founded on Komensky's own experience, first appears in the Amsterdam edition of 1663.

It may be of interest to refer to the various editions and translations of the "Labyrinth." They are by no means numerous, if we consider the value of the book. It must, however, be remembered that the suppression of Komensky's creed in his country followed its appearance very closely, and that the Bohemian language in which it is written was, for a time, almost extinct. Though finished in 1623, the book, as already mentioned, was first printed in 1631.[32] A second enlarged edition appeared at Amsterdam in 1663. After this there was no new edition before 1757,[33] when the book was reprinted at Berlin. Further editions appeared at Prague in 1782 and 1809. The latter edition, though it had appeared with the consent of the "censure,"[34] which then decided what books might be printed in Austria and Bohemia, was yet suppressed in 1820, and the "Labyrinth," for a time, again became almost inaccessible to Komensky's countrymen. Since the accession of that enlightened ruler, the present Emperor of Austria, Francis Joseph, these petty molestations have ceased. The "Labyrinth" has been frequently reprinted, and is now in the hands of all Bohemian readers, who have the same affection for the book that their ancestors had more than two centuries ago. In consequence of Komensky's great mastery of his language, parts of the "Labyrinth" are read in the Bohemian schools, in which the national language is now largely used. It is not necessary to enumerate the many editions of the "Labyrinth" that have appeared within the last years. The best is that published in the present year by Mr. Bily. I have consulted it for those parts of the "Labyrinth" also that I had translated before the appearance of Mr. Bily's edition. It follows very closely the Amsterdam edition of 1663, and has some valuable notes, of which I have availed myself on several occasions. I must here also acknowledge my indebtedness to Dr. Kvacsala's "Johann Amos Comenius," Dr. Zoubek's "Zivot Komenského," (i.e., "Life of Komensky"), Professor Kapras's "Nástin Filosophie Komenského, (i.e., "Outline of Komensky's Philosophy"), Dr. von Criegern's "Comenius als Theolog," and numerous studies in the Casopis Musea Ceského (i.e., "Journal of the Bohemian Museum"). Of those essays, I should particularly mention those of Dr. Novak on the "Labyrinth of the World," that appeared in the Journal in 1895. It would be unnecessary to give a full list of the authorities consulted, as these books are almost all written in the Bohemian language that is practically unknown in England.

The causes, already mentioned, that limited the number of editions of the "Labyrinth" also account for the fact that the book has not been more frequently translated into foreign languages. An abridged German translation was published at Potsdam in 1781, and another translation, or rather adaptation, appeared at Berlin in 1787 under the name of "Philosophisch Satirische Reisen durch alle Stände der menschlichen Handlungen." The latest German translation was published in 1871 or 1872; the book has no date. This translation, published at Spremberg by Dr. Novotny, a Protestant divine, has little or no value. The translator, who evidently had but a slight knowledge of the Bohemian language, has made some rather serious mistakes; he has also, with an audacity that would appear inconceivable on the part of one translating from a better known language than that of Bohemia, omitted considerable passages of the "Labyrinth," while he has inserted a good deal of matter that is not contained in Komensky's MS. There are also Hungarian and Russian translations of the "Labyrinth."

In his preface to the "Labyrinth," Komensky tells his reader "that it is not a poem that you will read, although it may have the seeming of a poem." I have explained in a note what I believe to be Komensky's meaning. Yet the author may also have intended to point out to his readers that his book was written in a somewhat ornate manner, differing largely from the rather homely prose that was then usual in Bohemia. It is, I think, the first duty of a translator to render as closely and faithfully as he can the word and thought of the author whose writings he endeavours to transfer into a different language; he should, therefore, adhere as closely as possible not only to the current of thought, but even to the manner of writing of his author. I have therefore not hesitated in using some words that at the present day are hardly used in English prose, and in employing some rather archaic locutions. Such locutions would, of course, not have appeared so unusual to Komensky's contemporaries in England than they may to the readers of the present day. Komensky, particularly in the "Labyrinth," uses alliteration to a great extent. As far as the totally different character of the English and Bohemian languages permitted, I have endeavoured to follow him in this also.

I must also, writing in a language that is not my own, beg my readers' indulgence to such lapses from the now most usual methods of writing English that may be found in this translation.

It is scarcely necessary to mention that a God-fearing and pious man, such as was Komensky, admitted nothing into his books that could appear otherwise than edifying, or at least morally unobjectionable. Yet the custom of calling a spade a spade was very prevalent in the seventeenth century; and writers, with no evil intent, alluded to matters that it is not now customary to mention. I have therefore thought it advisable not to translate one or two words of the "Labyrinth," nor one somewhat longer passage. I have marked such omissions by asterisks. On the other hand, a few expressions that may now be thought coarse, though they did not appear so in the seventeenth century, have been retained. The "Labyrinth" contains a certain number of Latin words. I have retained these, as they are not difficult to understand, and are very characteristic of Komensky's manner of writing. On the other hand, I have translated into English his Latin dedication of his book to Charles of Zerotin.

If this translation contributes, even to a slight degree, to making Komensky's masterpiece better known to English readers, I shall not think that the not inconsiderable labour that it involved has been in vain.

Zampach, December 10, 1900.

  1. "Johann Amos Comenius als Theolog."
  2. This refers to a translation of the Bible that was the joint-work of several divines of the "Unity," assembled at Kralice, in Moravia, about the end of the sixteenth century. It is a model of Bohemian diction, and Komensky modelled his style on it, to a great extent, when writing the "Labyrinth."
  3. This book was long attributed to Kebes, a disciple of Plato. Recent research has rendered it probable that it was written by a philosopher during the reign of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
  4. In his "Physica," Komensky writes that Verulamius and Campanella are "the two Hercules that have vanquished the monster Aristotle."
  5. A Lutheran divine, born 1586, and a very copious writer in the then fashionable allegorical manner. He was Court Chaplain at Stuttgart for many years, and then (Protestant) Abbot at Babenhausen, and afterwards at Adelsberg. He died at Stuttgart in 1654.
  6. De Quincy, in his "Historico-Critical Inquiry into the Origin of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons," has conjectured that Andrea himself was the originator, or at least the reviver, of that community. His armorial bearings—a St. Andrew's Cross and four roses—were undoubtedly their emblem.
  7. How little Komensky feared the accusation of plagiarism is proved by the fact that he gives the name of one of Andrea's books, "Fama Rosæorum," to one of the divisions of chapter xiii. This, according to the custom of the day, was equivalent to declaring the passage to be a quotation,
  8. It has been suggested to me that Bunyan may have had knowledge of the "Labyrinth," and that his words, "Some say the 'Pilgrim's Progress' is not mine, insinuating as if I would shine, in name and fame, by the worth of another," refer to it. I consider this very improbable. There has, of course, never been an English translation of the "Labyrinth," and though Komensky may have mentioned his book during his stay in London, yet no information of this can well have reached Bunyan. Besides, as I have already stated, the idea on which both books are founded is far older than either of them.
  9. In 1667, Spinoza entered into a correspondence with some friends on the subject of alchemy. "He was obviously disposed to think seriously of the matter [i.e., alchemy] at that time."—Sir F. Pollock, "Spinoza," p. 62. It is but fair to add that Spinoza's views on this subject afterwards changed.
  10. For Chelcicky, see my "History of Bohemian Literature," pp. 153-157, and particularly pp. 159-171. I have there translated part of Chelcicky's fiercely satirical attack on the armorial bearings of the Bohemian nobles.
  11. For Charles of Zerotin, see my "History of Bohemian Literature," pp. 321-325.
  12. Chapter xviii. 15.
  13. Born, 1621; died, 1688.
  14. I have referred to it briefly in my "Bohemia: an Historical Sketch," and more fully in my "History of Bohemian Literature."
  15. According to the latest researches, the name of Komensky's family was originally Milic; they adopted the name of Komensky (Latinised to Comenius) when they settled in the little village of Komna, in Moravia. Komensky's father afterwards moved from there to the neighbouring town of Uhersky Brod.
  16. I.e., "The ford of the Hungarians."
  17. I.e., receiving Communion in both kinds (subutraque). This was the official designation of all those not Romanists who, up to the battle of the White Mountain, enjoyed religious freedom in Bohemia. The old utrafuist teachings, such as then prevailed at the University of Prague, differed but little, except on this one point, from the teaching of Rome; and the more advanced reformers therefore preferred to send their youths to foreign universities.
  18. In German, "Adler."
  19. For Brother Gregory, see my "History of Bohemian Literature," pp. 203, 205, 207, etc.
  20. Dr. Goll.
  21. This, up to comparatively recent times, was the official designation in Austria of all who did not belong to the Church of Rome.
  22. In the present Prussian province of Posen.
  23. See, however, note 1, p. 393, chap. xlvii.
  24. The influence of these "prophets" on Komensky has great, though very painful, psychological interest. I have referred to them in my "History of Bohemian Literature," as mentioned in the note to chapter xlvii. referred to above. There is a fuller account of Kotter's "prophecies" in my "Bohemia: an Historical Sketch," pp. 396-398.
  25. Zoubek, "Zivot Komenského."
  26. This, of course, does not appear in the first edition of the "Labyrinth." It is first printed in the edition of the book published at Amsterdam in 1663.
  27. That Komensky corresponded with Lord Herbert is proved by his correspondence, recently published by Mr. Patera. It contains a letter dated June 15, 1647, addressed to the "Perillustri atque noblissimo Domino, Domino Edwardo Baroni Herbert de Cherbury, etc., etc. Domino et Fautori meo." Komensky here thanks Herbert for the gift of the volume, "De Causis Errorum": "Tam gratum quam flagranter desideratum munus," as he calls it. From the time of his visit to England, Komensky frequently mentions Lord Herbert's name when writing to his English friends.
  28. A town in Northern Hungary. Its Hungarian name is Saros-Patak.
  29. There is an interesting account of Komensky's organisation of the Hungarian schools in Dr. Kvacsala's (German) "Johann Amos Comenius."
  30. The learned deacon of Herrenhut, Dr. J. Müller, has dealt with the connection of his community with the old brethren in a series of very interesting studies, published in the Casopis Musea Kralovstoi (Journal of the Bohemian Museum) for 1885. He says that though there are minor differences, the teaching of his community is on all important points identical with that of the old Unity.
  31. In the first edition, the word "Lusthauz," derived from the German, is used. In the Amsterdam edition, and all the subsequent ones, the correct Bohemian word "Raj" is employed.
  32. According to Mr. Bily, probably either at Lissa or at Pirna, in Saxony.
  33. There is a copy of this edition in the library of the British Museum.
  34. See my "History of Bohemian Literature," passim, particularly pp. 366-369, and 397-398.